Well, this took me forever. Either way, this is Chapter 8, usual disclaimer about owning, fan based all that stuff. Apologies for the delay, hopefully won't happen again but either way at least things happen in this one. Also, apologies in advance for bad spelling, I didn't get much chance to proof-read so I'll hopefully be fixing this at some point.

Shadow Hearts: Resurrection

Chapter 8: Sayonara Japan

Charlie and Jack followed Jerry down the 'emergency escape route' to avoid losing what little money they had left walking down the way they came in. Jerry was surprisingly nimble for an old man, grabbing the fireman's pole that was their escape route and sliding down it easily with the pumpkin-headed Jack behind him and Charlie doing his best to not check his wallet as they went.

Landing on the ground-floor, they followed the slightly bow-legged Jerry as he hobbled his way out of Shanghai Heaven and began mumbling to himself about flying under the radar. Charlie left him to it for a while, he was busy thinking to himself about his Harmonixer abilities. He still didn't quite get what his powers meant, Yuri seemed to imply the power was natural but he couldn't do it before the accident on the Matilda.

It just felt strange to him, he'd managed to unlock 5/6 elements now and if Kaede was right about their being 6 magical elements (he had to admit, he always felt a little tetchy about being 'Dark' by her reckoning) then he had one more form to unlock. Which'd make sense but he got the feeling he could go further, that the monsters he was becoming weren't from things he'd defeated.

It was strange but they felt like his emotions were the key to it all, he just had to work out how...

Shaking his head to clear the serious thoughts brewing inside, he clapped a hand to Jack's shoulder and shouted to Jerry

"So, how are we going to be leaving Japan?" he asked, he was aware the American military were currently occupying and it'd be hard to cross the pacific without being seen. Jerry disagreed it seemed, judging from the grin on his face

"Easily, m'boy. We're going to fly so fast and so hard that those boys in the Airforce are going to be sending reports to Area 51 for years"

-\ -o- /-

Kaede was still watching the people milling around in the street, her half lidded eyes keeping track of all the movements going on below them but she still felt ill at ease. Yuri seemed to feel the same as he uncomfortable folded his arms and kept looking at the door. Both of them could feel it, not so much a sense of danger as one of foreboding.

Something was coming their way, it was just a question of when.

Dawn seemed unaware of the danger, still toying with her now safely unloaded gun and holding it tightly, a totem of safety that Kaede half envied her for. It had been many years since she had felt truly safe. She was moving away from the window when she heard the commotion in the street.

Cautiously, she rested a hand on the windowframe as she peeked out to see what it had been. Lying in the middle of the street, his face buried in the cold grey of the road was a man. He looked perfectly ordinary but the gathering crowd seemed to regard his prescence with great concern. There was a faint shimmer in the air, lasting but a moment, but when Kaede looked again the man was on his foot and shuffling forward.

She groaned even before the shambling man-creature attacked a civilian. Zombies. Easy enough to put down, but she'd need to get to it now before more were infected. It didn't feel likely but with the malice in the air, it was technically possible this was a co-incidence. Still, she felt it best to leave some security.

"Yuri, keep an eye on Dawn, I'll go and deal with this zombie problem" grabbing her brush and ink, Kaede slipped out of the hotel room and with a slight hurry, she moved out onto the street to contain this problem as quickly as possible to limit.

The door was still swinging shut gently when long, tapered fingers grabbed the door-frame as a golden robed finger appeared within it, looking at both Dawn and Yuri with malevolent eyes
"Well, look at what I've found here. Kee hee hee hee"

-\ -o- /-

Charlie was still trying to get Jerry to actually explaintheir escape plan when they almost ran face first into a walking corpse, dull rolling eyes staring at them. Charlie reached for his sledge-hammer but was interupted by Jerry cracking open his toolbox and with remarkable aim, braining the creature with three well throw spanners, catching them as they spun back to his hand.

"Ptoo, this old man's still got some crack in his whip. Nasty ghoulies, just like Roger used to describe" Jerry glanced back to Charlie and Jack with a confident gaze, "Last time I was at Roger's house a couple of these monsters stumbled up the road from the town, we had a heck of a time putting 'em down. It's how I invented some of my tools"

As if to illustrate this, a few more ghouls appeared and gave Jerry time to rummage in his toolbox in a flurry of movement and extract a device. It looked like a space-age ray-gun, a giant rotating blade at the front and with a war-cry of
"To Spaaace!"
Jerry pulled the trigger and a blast of air blew all three ghouls up into the sky to disappear in a twinkle. Turning to seek the appraising looks of his fellows, Jerry was a little put out to see Charlie staring in slack-jawed terror and Jack nodding his head appreciatively.

"You can't just blow the monsters away! They'll just turn up somewhere else!" Charlie shouted, waving his arms in understandable agitation

"But they aren't here" Jerry explained helpfully

"I understand the concept it's just... ahhh, forget it, look where's your ship? I assume we need to get one to leave and if zombies are turning up it's probably a sign we've been here too long" He wouldn't say it out loud, but he was still worried that he was attracting all these beasts just by being near the party.

If he'd brought this down on Akihabara he'd never forgive himself.

Jerry seemed to take this well as he shrugged and said they needed the ladies first, to which Jack helpfully pointed out Kaede had been fighting 8 zombies to their left for some time. Charlie did not take this news as being all that helpful.

With a loud crunch of skull on mallet, Charlie swung and grinned as he bowled one of the monsters away from Kaede. She used the opening to toss several sheets of spell-paper into the air. Light blue glows from the paper flashed as the remaining zombies were all struck by ice and promptly fell apart.

Breathing heavily, she nodded to Charlie and Jack before looking quizically to Jerry.

"Ahh, right, him. He's our ride out of here, he says he can go faster than the American planes so we can outrun them. His names-"

"Jeremiah Tarquin Bernstein at your service, madame" Jerry bowed deeply, removing his swirly eyed glasses to expose deeply intelligent, twinkling blue eyes. Kaede seemed puzzled by this and bowed in return.

"Kaede Abe, it's a pleasure to meet you Mr Bernstein"

Charlie wanted to point out all of Jerry's flaws now (re: He spent all his time in a maid cafe, only came with them at the promise of girls and had blown a bunch of zombies somewhere out over the islands of Japan) but his inner peacemaker reminded him that they needed him alive and getting Kaede to murder him wouldn't help.

"Where's Dawn? I wish to ask her views on steamed broccoli" Jack tapped his pumpkin on the chin as he said this

"Vegetable related insanity aside, I'm curious too, didn't her and Yuri follow you out here?"

"No, I told them to stay behind although I feel... uneasy" Kaede glanced to Charlie and that brief exchange of eye contact conveyed all they needed to know. They both felt something was wrong and if both of their instincts were smelling a rat...

They took off running for the hotel, pursued by Jack shouting something about greenery and Jerry complaining about his hip quietly so Kaede wouldn't hear him. Bursting into the hotel, they discovered they were too late. Slashes across the walls and furniture told them they were too late. Punching his fist against the door-frame Charlie hung his head as he tried to think of a means to help them...

-\ -o- /-

The wash of tides slowly caused Dawn to open her eyes, sitting up awkwardly as she did and groaning at the faint throbbing headache at the back of her skull where she'd been hit. Glancing around the area, she saw no sign of her captor but was quick to identify where she was.

She was tired to a mooring on a dock, concrete support lay under her and great steel cruisers armed to the teeth with weaponry stood above her; the faint glow of the setting sun illuminated the area in a dim orange light and sparkled off the ocean as she struggled to break free of her bonds.

All this movements caused her fellow kidnapped victim to rouse as he sat up, coughing somewhat. Dawn glanced across and recognised it was Yuri she was looking at. Smiling, she was about to ask how he was until she noticed the dull crimson stains on the ropes where he was sitting.

Panic shot through her as she realised Yuri had three large cuts across his body and was obviously in a good deal of pain. He looked across to her and caught her eye as the first glints of panic started to show and with obvious effort grinned to her

"Don't worry, I'm fine, just a few scratches" he coughed, unfortunately dismissing the illusion he was fine "Are you alright, Dawn?"

"I'm fine, but Yuri we need to get you to a doctor those cuts-"

"Are nothing, the one who kidnapped us... he could have killed me but didn't. I have no idea who or what he is but if we fight him again I'm sure I won't survive" Yuri's grave words seemed to spur Dawn into staying very still and saying nothing while her older ally thought of an escape plan.

"If I transform, I can break these ropes, but he's almost guaranteed to be watching. Worse than that, he did something to me so I don't think I'll be able to stay transformed long if I manage it at all"

Dawn kept her mouth shout, chewing her lip as she glanced for some sign of escape. She still couldn't work out exactly why they'd been brought back here until her eyes caught one of the names of the ships docked besides them. The Alexandra.
An American vessel.
Whoever had kidnapped them was going to send her to the people chasing after her.

-\ -o- /-

"You're certain this will make it in time?" Kaede asked, her eyes looking increasingly doubtful at the pile of scrap they were now looking at. Jerry chuckled raucously and rapped his pride and joy with a bony knuckle.

"She may not run on water like somepeople's aircraft, but the Hyplubion is faster than any 'Bacon Jet'" Jerry grinned at them, while simultaneously hoping none of them could test his theory that was quite obviously false.

Usually, Charlie would be the one to point out such a discrepancy but without a word he jumped onto the ship and sat down, looking impatiently at the others.

It was worrying for Kaede, if he wasn't in his stable state of mind then fusion would be dangerous, he could lose control. Neverthless, she followed him on with Jack bringing up the rear, shivering wildly as he sat down. Jerry smiled and scurried aboard his proud flying machine, switching his glasses for a proud pair of goggles lacking the spirals and revealing the fierce glare in his eyes

"Off we goooo!"

-\ -o- /-

The clomp of boots was enough to spur Dawn to redouble her efforts trying to fray the rope on the concrete they were tied to. Yuri said nothing, seeming to save his energy as four soldiers appeared flanking a familiar looking man with a top hat

"Well, well, well, if it isn't Miss Tyler! Did you miss me?" Heart lightly flicked at his gloves as he asked the question, his smile still stretched thin. He was aggravated that Spade had been the one to catch them but it wasn't like they didn't all benefit.

Club and Diamond had both agreed to it, as had the boss, so why did he feel like [i]he[/i] was the one indebted to Spade for the help?

Shrugging, he indicated that Yuri should be untied and with great reluctance, two of the soldiers with him gingerly loosened the knots tying the harmonixer to the mooring. As the ropes fell slack, Yuri managed to raise himself up, noticing his lack of sword he raised a quizical eyebrow

"Spade kept it, said it would be a nice memento" Heart drawled, clearly unimpressed.

"And why have you freed me? You expect me to run and leave her to you?" He was trying to stand in the way of Heart and Dawn, the soldiers themselves looked uncertain, a cut up man and a girl were hardly call for a military escort for a VIP...

"No, but you see your face pisses me off. All of us, actually, but due to a strange little contract I have first dibs. I'm the weakest of our family but I have to be first." Heart smiled as a magical glow surrounded his hand, Yuri didn't wait to see what he did.

There was a rush of air, similar to Charlie's transformation but the pressure felt much greater to Dawn. She hid her face as the air cracked around Yuri and revealed his new form.

It looked almost feminine, crimson arms and legs, orange wrapped softly around it's shoulders, it glared at Heart with unrestrained malice as it pointed a single finger. Almost instantly a beam of fire shot from the sky and threatened to incinerate the magican as he fought through the flames.

The soldiers opened fire but they two were unsuccessful, the bullets burning into molten slag in the air and impacting meaninglessly as they were absorbed into the boiling flesh of Yuri's transformed state.

A brilliant flash of light emitted from the fusion monsters hands and blasted the soldiers off the dock and into the water, blinded by the raw heat and light. The flames surrounding Heart died out now as he walked forward, a blue glow of bubbles surrounding him as he smiled

"Amaterasu? I'd heard stories. I guess you are related to him. Which makes what I'm about to do so much more satisfying" producing from under his top hat a strange curve of silver, Heart placed it on his face.

It was a fish shaped mask, an odd cup like shape at the top with two fins falling from either cheek. His smile was hidden by the new mask as he laughed to himself

"Yee hee hee hee, I haven't gotten to wear this face in so long-" Heart's rant was interupted by a sudden boom of air as a gigantic metal shape appeared in the sky. It was roughly shaped as an oval, but with two long wings sticking out of it at the sides and two more on the top and bottom giving the whole thing a fish like shape.

At the front was a propeller, at the back a large engine belcing flames and lining the bottom a series of intermittent propellers and burners to keep it afloat. This was Jerry's finest creation, the Hyplubion. It did not look very impressive.

From the rear of the craft, Charlie stood ready, the wind rushing past his head as Kaede and Jack tried to spot where they were looking for. Yokohama was a big place but it seemed they'd correctly deduced where they were and even with the headstart, Jerry had caught up with them.

Seeing Dawn, Charlie yelled out to her which caught the attention of Heart. His joy almost threatened to overflow, he could kill both of them? Well that was just amazing! Taking advantage of his mistimed glee, Yuri attacked with a flash of flame and light as Heart began dodging and swerving the attacks.

Charlie from his position in the Hyplubion could see the fight but his main concern was still Dawn. Feeling this strong emotion of care in his chest, Charlie felt himself fusing and a feeling of peace rushing over him as he turned into a Light Element creature.

Diving from the Hyplubion as he changed, Charlie felt wings spreading from his legs as they changed into feathery wings, fluttering to move him as his torso remained relatively unchanged but bleached pearly white, his hair now electric blue.

He landed in a burst of air from his wings as he hastily sliced through the ropes binding Dawn and even the concrete under them with his bare hands. Dawn leapt into his arms, wrapping hers around his neck as Charlie took off back to the Hyplubion
"Yuri! We have to go!" Charlie shouted, looking down at his fellow Harmonixer just as Yuri's transformation broke.

Whatever Spade had done to him, Yuri couldn't keep fighting and was now panting on the ground, Heart standing over him as Charlie floated in the air
"No! We have to help him Charlie we have-"

"Anjou!" Yuri bellowed, his eyes locked on Heart as he advanced "Keep her safe. No matter what, you have to stop the Four Mas-" Yuri's final words were silenced as Heart sliced his arm and decapitated the noble young warrior. Dawn screamed, reaching out for him but there was nothing they could do.

Charlie was frozen for a moment, he didn't know what to do, but Kaede's voice brought him back as he heard
"Charlie! Get your ass back on the ship!"
Tearing his eyes away, Charlie beat down with his wings once more and landed on the rear bay of the Hyplubion as it sealed shut, Dawn's tears flowing into his chest as he returned to human form.

The Engines hummed and even as Heart tried to fire a spell at them the ship was rocketting away leaving him to watch as the sun finally sunk beneath the horizon proper, night time truly setting in with the darkness.

While they may have lost the Key, they knew where she'd be going. They'd come to America now, land of the free, trying to find them for revenge or some nonsense. Heart felt his smile widen as he took off his mask.

They were only getting started.

The Party so Far

(active party)

Charlie Anjou
Role: Harmonixer
Element: Dark
Weapon: Sledgehammer

Jack O'Connagh
Role: Pumpkin King
Element: Fire
Weapon: Frowny face Radish

Kaede Abe
Role: Taoist
Element: Water
Weapon: Crimson Ink

(On the Hyplubion)

Dawn Tyler
Role: Unknown
Element: Neutral
Weapon: BB Beretta

Jerry Bernstein
Role: Air Wizard/Engineer
Element: Wind
Weapon: Basic Toolbox

Yuri Inugami

The son of Kurando and Anastasia, tragically cut down by the wizard Heart once he began to wear his mask again. His fusion form Amaterasu is a counterpoint to his fathers, while it used primarily light attacks it was also in posession of fire element abilities. The pendant he gave to Kaede is one he inherited from his father who claimed to have found it in Wales.